Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

Patients in art room take virtual tour of Australian gallery

Regular visitors to the art room at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice took part in a unique link with the Australian capital, says artist Kirsty Stansfield.


Art from the collection of Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery was beamed into the art room at Carlton Place, giving patients an insight into the work of Australian artists.

The link up with a curator in Canberra, believed to be the first in a care setting in the UK, is the latest innovation from the hospice’s art room team.

My colleague Sharon Goodlet won a Winston Churchill Fellowship Award to look into best practice in art with older people. While in Australia, she visited a range of different people delivering arts in healthcare services. She visited the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra where she discovered their virtual excursions.

We’re always looking for new and unique ways of bringing art into the hospice and saw the opportunity to do that. People in the hospice aren’t always able to get out to see art, whether that be through illness or disability, or even lack of confidence.

The 10,500-mile link saw Alana Sivell, the curator in Australia stand in front of a green screen and talk about six pieces from the collection, chosen in advance in collaboration with the art room team in Glasgow, including Yellow Portrait by Linda Bryans and Self Portrait by Tracy Moffat.

The artists’ techniques were discussed and then patients had the opportunity to participate in an interactive practical workshop, with guidance from Alana, on how to recreate some of the techniques on display with support from the team in the art room.

If it’s successful we’d love to recreate this with other contemporary art galleries around the world. Like the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Tate in London, if they have the technology set up. It’s certainly opened up a new avenue we’ve never thought of before.

Australian Artist